Optic Neuritis

Optic neuritis occurs when swelling (inflammation) damages the optic nerve — a bundle of nerve fibers that transmits visual information from your eye to your brain. Common symptoms of optic neuritis include pain with eye movement and temporary vision loss in one eye.

The optic nerve carries visual information from your eye to your brain. Optic neuritis (ON) is when your optic nerve becomes inflamed.

ON can flare up suddenly from an infection or nerve disease. The inflammation usually causes temporary vision loss that typically happens in only one eye. Those with ON sometimes experience pain. As you recover and the inflammation goes away, your vision will likely return.

The three most common symptoms of ON are:

  • vision loss in one eye, which can vary from mild to severe and lasts for 7 to 10 days
  • periocular pain, or pain around your eye that’s often worsened by eye movements
  • dyschromatopsia, or the inability to see colors correctly

ON will have partial to complete vision recovery within 6 to 12 months. Thereafter, healing rates decrease and damage is more permanent. Even with good vision recovery, many will still have a varying amount of damage to their optic nerve.